Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is something I have heard for most of my life. And though at times I have walked a line bordering on passiveness and power, I like to believe that I have so far stayed true to myself and my people. I have never desired to lead anyone, and yet time and again I feel myself thrust into the realms of power in which I will admit feel totally ill at ease. Guardianship of Aegis and Yew came easy to me at first. All I needed to do was see to it that the people that lived within the area had enough food, a good shelter and some measure of happiness in their day to day life. With the plague on the land cured, and commerce picking up between Yew and other towns, it was an easy task which I dearly loved. But with change came a need for greater involvement, and duties that at the time, I did not wish to take on myself. Aegis was easy for me to tend, and as the Glade had long been my home, I have never had issue with doing the duty I was charged with by the Knights of Yew. But as Yew continues to grow, and with the greater need for governance, I thought it was best to bring in another that could devote full time to the needs of the citizenry. Gillian seemed a perfect choice. She had already done time as governor of Skara, a city which must have been a task to keep running smoothly. She had a good and devoted husband in Thom, and really I felt that with his support, she would have little effort in slipping into the role as Yews leader. And for a time, it seemed that all would go as planned. But as all too often happens, fate had other ideas, and with a seemingly subtle flip of her hand, things changed overnight. I knew when I first heard him speak at the Governors meeting that life in the forest of Yew was about to take a bad turn. My dealings with Mikael and the Hand in the past had left a memory dark and foreboding in the furthest reaches of my mind. Sort of like what many describe as a feeling of impending doom. It has happened so many times in Yew’s history. Just as the town seems to be doing better, and life is looking good, some foul stench from the past blows though. An ill wind blows no one to any good, and the Hand was a very ill wind. We tried to form an alliance to deal with the threat, and I took the measure of sending for Lady Dramora. There were few still around that know Mikael and the entire D’Amavir family as well as she. I hoped that with her knowledge, and a few lucky tricks, that the Hand could be dealt with in swift fashion. I hated dragging Dramora back and into this mess, but when a person sees the end of all they had worked for heading towards a bad end, they tend to grasp at straws. But as with all things connected to Yew, the plan seemed to go afoul from the start. Gillian and Dramora seemed to take an instant disliking to one another. At the same time there was a strain between Gillian and the Rangers of Spiritwood, and also with the Guardians of Honor. So the alliance fell into disarray with some not wishing to follow a single leader, but instead trying to lead by committee. Meetings more often than not fell into petty squabbles and acquisitions, and little, if anything ever got done. It was after the taking of the guardian Ashley that I began to fully see the dysfunction and hopelessness of the situation. The Hand continued to grow stronger while the alliance continued to weaken their resolve. Rumors began to fly that Gillian planned to make a deal with the Hand in which she would name Mikael Protector of Yew. In exchange the Hand would cease all attacks and killings not only in Yew, but Skara and Olympus as well. Gillian in her desire to end the fighting on her own could not seem to see the dangers in such a plan. I think she really believed she could control the Hand. It was at this time that I began to formulate an idea of my own. The plan I had was perhaps stupid, as many acts of a desperate man are. I would offer control of Aegis and the Rest to Mikael and the Hand. On the surface it would seem as though I had surrendered, when in fact I had a darker purpose in mind. With the aid of James, charges would be concealed throughout the Rest. Most of them would be of the incendiary type-along with charges capable of reducing a stone building to rubble. Once the Hand were within celebrating their victory, I would set off the devices and destroy the thing that I valued so deeply, and with a bit of luck most of the Hand. I made one small mistake in my planning; I mentioned it to Yews Governor. She then moved quickly ahead with her own plan, and wrote an agreement to hand virtual control of Yew over to Mikael and the Hand. She dictated what she thought were iron clad rules that the Hand would have to adhere to including returning Ashley, not attacking the other towns and getting her say so before any and all arrests. She also took it upon herself to include provisions for the Knights Rest, Aegis and Silverwood. I am sure that were Beleg around he would have a few choice words for her about her interfering in elven lands. She even figured she could grant the Hand permission to come into the Rest whenever they so pleased. She meant well at first, of this I am sure. But as happens all too often when deals are made in haste, mistakes were made, the rights of others are violated, and innocent people get hurt. She was told at the signing that Ashley was already dead. This turned out to be the first lie by the Hand. The immediately started to exert their selves on those living within Yew, trying to collect further gold, which they called taxes from the people. They on more than one occasion entered the Rest and cause damage, while also scaring the patrons away. I had grown tired of seeing them sitting in the place, throwing glasses or ale bottles against the walls and tapestries. The one among them that was a bit of a savage even took to bathing in the fountains. This led to many hours of having to drain and clean them. I came in one day to find the Governor of Yew sitting casually at a table with two of them, and my anger finally got the best of me. I demanded they leave, to which Gillian replied that they were there as her guests. I then suggested that she take her guests to her house as the Rest was my property, and her authority did not extend to the Glade which I had control of. Her reply was “We will see what the King has to say about that.” Now I have tended Yew and Aegis for many years, and until the past few years have done so without any input from a king. And while I may bow to his right to set up a governor over the greater Yew area, I do not see this reaching into the Glade of Aegis and most defiantly to my tavern. I again told them to please leave, and headed towards the passage to my home. I was a bit surprised that Gillian chose to follow me and more than a bit glad that I did not start to immediately remove my armor as I often do once home following a hunt. She barged through the door and immediately started yelling at me. She wanted to know what was going on; that I had supported the deal and now did not seem to. I reminded her that I had not read the agreement before she had it signed, stupidity on my part, and that if I had she would have been told to strip out the provisions referring to Aegis and the Rest. We had a few more words, and then she left to rejoin her company. After I was cleaned up, I headed back to the Rest for some tea. As I walked along the front wall I noticed that two of the Hand had Scarst pinned against the wall. Heading down, I asked what was going on. They said they had come to arrest the man. I reminded that they had not the authority to arrest him in Aegis, and they replied that Gillian had told them to. Scarst and I then headed inside, and started to talk about what was happening. We had barely started to talk when the doors were flung open, and Gillian walked in followed by the two members of the Hand. She insisted that they were there to arrest Scarst, and I repeated that she lacked the authority. She then stepped close to me and started to yell more insisting that she was only trying to protect Yew. When I said that she should protect Yew and leave Aegis to my protections she brought up my plan to use the Rest to take down the Hand, and for some reason started daring me to attack her. I told her I do not strike women, and asked that she take her friends and leave. A change has come over her that I was surprised to see. Somehow within the good intentions she professed to have, and the absolute power that the protection of the Hand promised I fear Gillian has lost the person she was. I wonder if she cares that those that she handed Yew over to not only tried to get inside the Rangers Outpost, but strung up Ashley to the keep in Olympus. An examination showed that he had recently been killed, and had not been dead the many days the Hand had claimed at the signing. This is all in addition to, and more important than their continuing harassment of me and those in the Knights Rest. Absolute power is a rather intoxicating brew. And when served up to one that is incapable of seeing the dangers inherent to the drink it can soon alter even the most devoted and sincere of people. And though it pains me deeply to do so, I will have to take the measures needed to have the deal with the hand nullified and the Governor of Yew replaced. Much of this mess is of my making. I have always tried to look for the good in all people, and recognize that potential we all have to do great things. I once saw greatness in Gillian which caused me to believe that she would be a great leader for the land I love. Now I only see the Hand of power wrapped tightly around her throat.